Fitting in

Fall musical ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown’ provides a relatable story for students


Kelsey Jones

Senior Justin Tidd acts out a scene in the first act, in which he talks about giving a letter to character Lucy van Pelt. Tidd is the lead part, Charlie Brown, in this weekend’s musical.

Senior Justin Tidd, playing the part of Charlie Brown, stands in the middle of the stage, his chest puffed out. He sings a few notes of the beginning song, a melody that flows throughout the show. He holds a note, voice unwavering, as his arms shoot up towards the empty auditorium seats.
But those seats won’t be empty on Nov. 15, 16 and 17, when the theater department will put on its production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

According to theater teacher and stage director Kimberly Roberts, many students can find something to relate to in the story, especially those who struggle with low self confidence or fitting in.

Kelsey Jones
Sally Brown is angered about getting a bad grade on her project. Senior Marsela Riddle plays the role of Sally in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

“I think we can see ourselves in all of these characters,” Roberts said. “So, when I hear someone putting themselves down, it’s Charlie Brown. When I hear someone taking charge and telling everyone what to do, it’s a Lucy moment.”
For other high school students, Charlie Brown may be the most relatable character in the show, Tidd says. He has worked with Roberts to help understand Charlie’s perspective and better play his character.
“(Roberts) really says how he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t really want to disappoint people,” Tidd said. “He just wants to make others happy. And he is just a very relatable character because we all have our slumps sometimes, and obviously he has a lot.”

Senior Katie Berry, acting as Snoopy, also believes the musical has a lot of potential to connect with its young audience. She notes that many actors are finding aspects of their characters to empathize with.
“I think a lot of our cast members are able to connect with their characters in some way, whether it be like Charlie and trying to fit in or like Lucy realizing how she’s really treating her friends,” Berry said.
As Linus, senior Gavin Hensley feels connected with the show as well. Charlie Brown may have the most ties to low self esteem and awkwardness, but Hensley mentions the steady optimism found within his character.

“It’s just every day … having everything (happen) that doesn’t always go the way that we want it to go,” Hensley said, “And being able to see that but also being able to at the end of the day say it was a good day.”

Kelsey Jones
Lucy, played by senior Lilly Leslie, gets mad at Linus, played by senior Gavin Hensley, for saying she can’t own her own kingdom.

Senior Lilly Leslie, playing Lucy, says that the cast being able to personally understand their characters helps them with delivery and their overall performance on stage. Even Lucy, considered the “bully” of the show, has qualities people can recognize whether or not they share them, according to Leslie.

“It makes that process (of getting into character) easier by relating yourself to the character,” Leslie said.
Above all, Roberts says Charlie Brown provides the relatable feelings of awkwardness and embarrassment throughout the play. She believes many people can understand what he is going through.

“We all relate to this kid because he is awkward and does stupid things and then is like ‘Why did I say that?’” Roberts said.

The musical will be performed on Nov. 15, 16 and 17. On Friday and Saturday, the performance will start at 7 p.m. On Sunday it will start at 2:30 p.m. Tickets can be bought in the auditorium for $10 or online.